Released: June 30, 2010
Kylie Minogue’s 2007 album X (see my review here) was a decent enough pop album that served her typical magic: catchy hooks, polished production, the lack of consistency, and average commercial appeal. Some were bangers, whilst some fizzled faster than the left-overs of a SodaStream mixture. But something was odd about the record; it was good, but to be dubbed as a comeback album, after her unfortunate hiatus to go through periods of breast cancer, is a bit extreme, let alone it not having the ideal success that it was made out to be. But in July 2010, Kylie left all the glitter and popiness all behind her, and teamed up with several producers like Calvin Harris, Sebastian Ingrosso, and executive Stuart Price to channel her inner dancefloor goddess-realness with the album Aphrodite.
Boasting some serious club numbers with shimmering Euro disco and synthpop elements, some may say that Aphrodite is extremely similar to Price’s other infamous collaboration, the strong mould of Madonna’s record Confessions on a Dance Floor, both of which are musically consistent and set a nice pace for each recording artist to sing to. But whilst Madonna’s record was an ode to listeners of classic disco music, Kylie’s album was a modernized development of her mould of an essential disco diva. She appears sensual and breathily with the love anthem, “All The Lovers”, which is one of her best leading singles in a long time. It represents the entirety of the album in a whole; pure dance–disco realness with your typical Kylie “loved-up” frills and subtle vocals. But by then, she gets turnt up with club hits such as “Get Outta My Way” and the frilly pop anthem, “Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)”, all of which shows a form of development and consistency within her sound and appeal.
This is the first time that Club Kylie really plays a big part on any of her records since 2001’s Fever, but unlike Fever, the material on Aphrodite stays true to Kylie’s general dance aesthetic, which is why the majority of the middle section of the record sounds all familiar, yet fun, groovy and stylishly well-presented. However, the entire collection of Aphrodite is state-of-the-art dance music from start to finish, which is why it could possibly her most consistent offering since Fever or even Body Language, release in 2003. Even the unusually industrial rock anthem “Everything is Beautiful”, the ill-fitted yet good enough electropop “Illusions”, the slightly chilling yet nicely arranged “Looking for an Angel”, and the country-riffs and appeal of “Better than Today” could possibly bust you to do a little twist or rhythmic dance to them.
But apart from those inclusions, the album is home to three of the album’s best tracks, and probably some of her best recordings in a long time; the experimental house rhythms of “Closer”, the extremely euphoric rave anthem “Too Much”, and the seductive electronic beats of “Cupid Boy”. All three of these tracks deal within Aphrodite’s dance sound, but they also push the envelope a little further that still manages to suit Kylie’s image, voice, and appeal. But all is left on a high note with the anthemic disco closer, “Can’t Beat the Feeling”, which is another highlight on the record.
Unlike many of Kylie’s albums, Aphrodite is a strategic set of tracks that still reassures she’s the ultimate disco diva on pop campus, 20+ years in the running. She’s had a couple of records where she stumbled (like any artist), she’s had some songs on the album’s that left us all feeling a bit unsure of its inclusion, and there have been times where Kylie’s album tracks haven’t been exactly consistent or strong from start to finish. But for the first time in a long time, Aphrodite is the real “comeback” of a more serious, stronger than ever, and most importantly, classic Kylie. It all sticks together well, and I must say, Aphrodite is probably her most accomplished, satisfying, and commercially-adapted record in a very long time.
Track list (Bold means best tracks)
- All The Lovers
- Get Outta My Way
- Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)
- Everything is Beautiful
- Better Than Today
- Too Much ~Liam’s favorite~
- Cupid Boy
- Looking for an Angel
- Can’t Beat the Feeling